Pravin Tambe Joins the Caribbean Premier League

He Is The First Indian Cricketer To Play In the CPL

Pravin Tambe got a place in the history books for being the first Indian player to participate in the CPL (Caribbean Premier League). In July 2020, the 49-year-old bowler was named in the Trinbago Knight Riders squad ahead of last year’s edition of the CPL. His debut match in CPL 2020 was against the St Lucia Zouks in August 2020 at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago.

Although Pravin has been recognized as the first Indian player to play in the CPL, Sunny Sohal, a player with Indian roots, has previously played for the Barbados Tridents. However, Sunny, who played first-class cricket and even had a stint in the India Under-19 team, switched his allegiance to the USA (United States of America). Consequently, he is registered as an ICC Americas player, making Pravin the first Indian registered CPL player to play.

The lack of Indian players in the CPL is due to BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) prohibiting active players from joining franchise-based leagues outside the country. 

The step aims to protect the IPL (Indian Premier League), but it has been met with stiff opposition from players as it stifles their careers. Pravin offered his name for the CPL 2020 because the BCCI had banned him after it emerged that he had played in unsanctioned tournaments.

Pravin joined a star-studded squad of players who included Captain Kieron Pollard, Munro Colin, Narine Sunil, and Bravo Dwayne. Pravin, who was 48 at the time, was also in contention for the oldest player to feature in a T20 match, but this was expected for a player whose career bloomed late. He joined the IPL in 2013 at 41 when the Rajasthan Royals bought him. Before that, he had been playing in minor leagues like the Dr. HD Kanga minor Cricket League. 

Then, without even playing for his home city of Mumbai, he shot straight to the big leagues, the IPL. Other than the Rajasthan Royals, Pravin has also played for the now-defunct Gujarat Lions and Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Kolkata Knight Riders bought him during the 2020 IPL auction, but BCCI decided to ban him, leading Pravin to join the Trinbago Knight Riders. Both Trinbago and Kolkata Knight Riders are affiliated with each other and are linked to famous Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.

While still young, Pravin fancied becoming a fast bowler, but his captain at the time noted his superior leg-spin techniques and encouraged him to bowl leg-spin. He was a medium pace bowler during his earlier matches, but he only shot to prominence after transitioning to bowling leg-spin. After joining the IPL while playing for the Rajasthan Royals, he won the Golden Wicket award for taking the most wickets in the T20 Champions league 2013 though the Royals lost to the Mumbai Indians in the final by 33 runs.

In his debut match in the CPL, Pravin was put in the first eleven in a move that hinted that Simon Helmot, the Trinidad Knight Riders’ coach wanted to rest Sunil Narine. However, in a rain-plagued match against St Lucia Kitts, Pravin only managed to bowl one over where he took one wicket but conceded 15 runs.

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Reference Resource:

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/pravin-tambe-becomes-first-indian-cricketer-to-play-in-caribbean-premier-league/article32453164.ece
  2. https://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/cpl-2020-pravin-tambe-becomes-oldest-and-first-indian-player-to-play-in-cpl-2285943
  3. https://scroll.in/field/971462/pravin-tambe-becomes-the-first-indian-cricketer-to-feature-in-caribbean-premier-league
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pravin_Tambe
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Champions_League_Twenty20
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